From Gary... What goes around...

This picture was labeled as a motorcycle, but with only one wheel shouldn't it be called something else? Unicycle came to mind, but that name is already used (and besides, you ride on TOP of that one). How about mono-motor or uni-motor? No, these lack something. Well, the best I can do is cycle-motor and if anyone can come up with a better name, please let me know!!!  As I looked at this bike, the strangest name came to my mind- Adoni-Bezek, and soon after that a passage from Revelation.

Here they are...

Judges, Chapter 1 (WEB)
 3  Judah said to Simeon his brother, “Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with you into your lot.” So Simeon went with him.  4 Judah went up, and Yahweh delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand. They struck ten thousand men in Bezek.  5 They found Adoni-Bezek in Bezek, and they fought against him; and they struck the Canaanites and the Perizzites.  6 But Adoni-Bezek fled; and they pursued him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his big toes.  7 Adoni-Bezek said, “Seventy kings, having their thumbs and their big toes cut off, scavenged under my table. As I have done, so God has done to me.” They brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there.

Revelation, Chapter 20 (WEB)
 11  I saw a great white throne, and him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. There was found no place for them.  12 I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and they opened books. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works.  13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it. Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them. They were judged, each one according to his works.  14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.  15 If anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire. 

I thought of these passages because of a saying- "What goes around comes around". Just like the wheel on the cyclemotor (or whatever you want to call it), whatever you do in this world- you will eventually be recompensed for!!!  Adoni-Bezek realized this and those before the great white throne will realize it as well. 

Have you thought about your own life lately? How will you pay for what you have done? I have and will trust Jesus to intercede for me when the judgment described above takes place. 

Remember- "What goes around comes around"!!!

P.S. With this post, my newbiblereflections blog now has reached a total of 10,001 posts. Many thanks to all who have contributed and to everyone who has ever read anything posted there!!!

From Mark Copeland... "THE THIRD EPISTLE OF JOHN" Chapter One

                      "THE THIRD EPISTLE OF JOHN"

                              Chapter One

John greets Gaius, praying for his prosperity and health, rejoicing to
hear that he is walking in truth (1-4).  John approves his hospitality
toward brethren and strangers, especially those serving the Lord (5-8).
John condemns the deeds of Diotrephes (9-10), commends the testimony of
Demetrius (11-12), and concludes with a hope to see Gaius soon (13-14).


   *  The joy of seeing one’s converts growing in Christ

   *  The importance of hospitality in the spread of the gospel

   *  The contrast between spirituality and carnality among Christians


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Greetings, with an expression of great joy - 3Jn 1:1-4
   - The confirmation of Gaius - 3Jn 1:5-8
   - The condemnation of Diotrephes - 3Jn 1:9-10
   - The commendation of Demetrius - 3Jn 1:11-12
   - Concluding remarks - 3Jn 1:13-14

2) To whom is this epistle addressed? (1)
   - The beloved Gaius

3) For what does John pray in behalf of Gaius? (2)
   - That he may prosper and be in health, just as his soul prospers

4) What gave John his greatest joy? (4)
   - To hear that his children walk in truth

5) For what does John praise Gaius? (5-7)
   - His kindness toward brethren and strangers, especially those
     serving the Lord

6) What benefit do we receive when we support those who serve the Lord?
   - We become fellow workers for the truth

7) Of what was Diotrephes guilty? (9-10)
   - Seeking preeminence, refusing to receive John
   - Prating against him with malicious words
   - Refusing to receive brethren, putting out of the church those who

8) What exhortation does John give to Gaius?  Who does he commend?
   - Do not imitate what is evil, but what is good; Demetrius, for his
     good testimony

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2015

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From Mark Copeland... "THE THIRD EPISTLE OF JOHN" Introduction

                      "THE THIRD EPISTLE OF JOHN"


What was the early church like?  We know a lot about its early leaders,
such as apostles Paul and Peter; but what about the average Christians
themselves?  Were they more spiritual than Christians today?  Did they
experience the kind of problems seen so often in churches today?

Several books of the New Testament reflect the life of the early church,
and this is especially true of The Third Epistle of John.  It is a
private letter, between "The Elder" and a Christian named Gaius.  It
provides portraits of three different men, and in so doing gives us a
glimpse of 1st  century life in local churches.

When one examines the portraits found in this letter, we learn that
there is not much difference between people back then, and in the church
today. Therefore this epistle is very relevant, though we may live
almost 2000 years later.


"The Elder" (3Jn 1:1) is believed by most conservative scholars to be
the apostle John.  The internal evidence for the third epistle is
similar to that of the second:

   *  The three epistles of John utilize much the same language and ideas

   *  All bear similarity to concepts and language to the Gospel of John

   *  The term "elder" would be a fitting description of John as the
      author, writing in his old age

The external evidence is slight, but Dionysius of Alexandria, living in
the third century A.D., credits John with being the author.


The epistle is addressed to "beloved Gaius".  Gaius was a common Roman
name, and appears five times in the New Testament (Ac 19:29; 20:4; Ro
16:23; 1Co 1:14; 3Jn 1:1).  Whether he is one of those mentioned by Luke
or Paul cannot be determined.  He was evidently a dear friend of John,
known for his hospitality (more below).


Ephesus is usually suggested as the location from which John wrote this
epistle, as he was known to live there in the later years of his life.
Estimation of the date of writing varies widely, some placing it before
the destruction of Jerusalem (70 A.D.).  Most however place it around
90-95 A.D.


The purpose of the epistle is threefold, related to the three men
mentioned by name:

   *  To confirm that Gaius did right in supporting those teachers who
      came his way, encouraging him to continue this hospitality - 3Jn  1:5-8

   *  To express his condemnation of Diotrephes for rejecting John and
      others whom he should had received - 3Jn 1:9-10

   *  To encourage Gaius to imitate what is good, commending Demetrius
      as a good example - 3Jn 1:11-12

As for the theme, with the examples of the three men preserved for us in
this letter, let me suggest one based on the words of John in verse 11:

             Do not imitate what is evil, but what is good


Here is a simple outline of the book...

Greetings, with an expression of great joy (1-4)
The confirmation of Gaius (5-8)
The condemnation of Diotrephes (9-10)
The commendation of Demetrius (11-12)
Concluding remarks (13-14)


1) Who is author of The Third Epistle Of John?
   - The Elder, likely John the apostle who wrote the gospel of John

2) Who was the recipient of this epistle?
   - The beloved Gaius, identity otherwise unknown

3) When was it written?  From where?
   - Most date it from 90-95 A.D.; Ephesus

4) What has been suggested as its threefold purpose?
   - To confirm Gaius did right
   - To condemn Diotrephes for doing wrong
   - To commend Demetrius as a good example

5) What has been suggested as its theme?
   - Do not imitate what is evil, but what is good

6) What are the main divisions of this epistle as outlined above?
   - Greetings, with an expression of great joy (1-4)
   - The confirmation of Gaius (5-8)
   - The condemnation of Diotrephes (9-10)
   - The commendation of Demetrius (11-12)
   - Concluding remarks (13-14)

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2015

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Have the Bones of Jesus Been Found? by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Have the Bones of Jesus Been Found?

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Simcha Jacobovici, a television director, and movie director James Cameron (of Titanic fame) have teamed up to produce a television documentary for Discovery Channel titled “The Jesus Family Tomb.” In this production, Jacobovici suggests that the real tomb of Jesus has been discovered, complete with ossuaries for His body, Mary Magdalene’s body, His mother Mary’s body, and the body of Judah, allegedly the son of Jesus. This outlandish claim, although supposedly backed by scientific and historical “evidence,” is another sad example of senseless hype surrounding baseless claims about Jesus Christ.
The available historic evidence overwhelmingly destroys the false assertions made by Jacobovici. First, the idea that Jesus’ bones were buried would contradict the most historically accurate book ever written—the Bible. As Newsweek writers Miller and Chen wrote: “Good sense, and the Bible, still the best existing historical record of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, argue against Jacobovici’s claims” (2007). Indeed they do. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most historically documented event in ancient history (see Butt, 2002). The New Testament documents have been examined with a scrutiny beyond any applied to other historical books, and their authenticity and reliability have dumbfounded the most skeptical observers. With one voice, the books of the New Testament declare that Jesus Christ was buried in a borrowed tomb, rose three days after His death, and ascended to heaven, leaving no bones behind to be buried in an ossuary.
Furthermore, besides the fact that Jacobovici’s idea goes against the Bible, other details militate against the tomb being Jesus’ (not that any are needed). For instance, the names on the ossuary were very common. In fact, almost one-fourth of women in Jerusalem at the time would most likely have been named Mary or some derivative form of the name (Miller and Chen, 2007). In addition, the tomb is of a wealthy family and was located in Jerusalem. But Jesus’ family was poor from Nazareth. As Alan Segal, religion professor at Barnard College, stated: “Why would Jesus’ family have a tomb outside of Jerusalem if they were from Nazareth? Why would they have a tomb if they were poor?” (as quoted in Miller and Chen).
In truth, this latest “discovery” is little more than an attempt to cash in on the hype created by Dan Brown (author of The Da Vinci Code) and his ilk. It is so devoid of truth and legitimate historical scholarship that it is more of a science fiction film than a documentary. This and a host of future attempts to cast doubt on the biblical narratives will come and go, but rest assured that “the Word of the Lord endures forever.”


Butt, Kyle (2002), “Jesus Christ—Dead or Alive?” Reason & Revelation, 22:9-15, February, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/121.
Miller, Lisa and Joanna Chen (2007), “Raiders of the Lost Tomb?” Newsweek, March 5, [On-line],URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17328478/site/newsweek/.

Exceptional Spider Silk by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Exceptional Spider Silk
by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

To the average person, a spider’s web looks rather weak and flimsy. With the greatest of ease, a person can destroy a web. In only a second, the spider’s house is razed with the wave of a hand. Even Job’s uninspired friend, Bildad, testified of the fragileness of webs when he likened the unrighteous to those “whose trust is a spider’s web” (Job 8:14), who are leaning upon a house that easily perishes. So why are scientists increasingly mesmerized by the spider’s silk webbing?
Scientists are so enamored with spider silk because it has an “exceptional capacity to absorb kinetic energy” (Cunningham, 2007). Although it may not seem strong and tough from the vantage point of a human who easily can tear down a spider’s web, pound-for-pound, the silk from certain kinds of spiders is five times stronger than steel. What’s more, it can stretch 30 percent farther than the stretchiest known nylon, and is twice as flexible. Scientists have discovered that spider silk can even stretch 40 percent beyond its original length without breaking. In fact, due to its amazing strength and flexibility, it has been said that you could stop a jumbo jet in mid-flight with a spider web made of silk only one centimeter thick.
Since harvesting silk from spiders is impractical, scientists are attempting to make synthetic “spider silk” that could be used for countless things, including bulletproof vests, bridge suspension cables, and artificial tendons. Scientists especially covet the silk’s “exceptional capacity to absorb kinetic energy” and are hoping to copy what they call its “winning formula.” How have scientists fared thus far? In truth, even “[t]he best industrial fibers don’t absorb as much kinetic energy as spider silk does.... Despite years of research, scientists still can’t make a material as tough as the silk found within a spider web” (Cunningham, emp. added). Zoologist Chris Holland admitted that synthetic fibers “can’t even come close to” equaling the amazing qualities of spider-produced silk (as quoted in Cunningham).
What explanation do scientists give for the origin of spiders and their exceptional silk? To what do we owe this “winning formula” that intelligent scientists have been attempting to copy for years? According to Holland, “[s]piders...evolved the capacity to spin silk” (as quoted in Cunningham, emp. added). The mastermind behind the unequalled, “energy-efficient, high-performance” fibers in spider silk is, allegedly, mindless evolution. Truly, “the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25). “For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4).


Cunningham, Aimee (2007), “Taken for a Spin,” Science News, April 14, [On-line], URL:http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20070414/bob8.asp.

Differences Do Not Demand Discrepancies by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Differences Do Not Demand Discrepancies

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Sometimes statements differ because they are contradictory. The fact is, nothing can both be and not be for the same person, place, or thing, at the same time, and in the same sense (cf. Jevons, 1928, p. 117; Aristotle, 3:4). It is impossible for a single door to be completely shut and completely open at the same time. It is contradictory for a man to say, “Yesterday I never left my house to go to the store,” if indeed he did leave his house yesterday to go to the store. Differences in stories may very well be the result of lies and contradictory statements.
At the same time, differences do not necessarily mean that various accounts are discrepant. For example, a person may affirm, “I went shopping with my daughter yesterday.” That same person might also tell someone, “Yesterday, I went to several different stores with my best friend.” Both of these statements, though different, easily could be true. Perhaps the mother went shopping with her daughter and her best friend, Melissa. Or, it could be that the daughter is the mother’s best friend. Either way, it would be irresponsible and unreasonable to interpret such differences as contradictions.
People generally understand that differences can abound in various accounts without a person needing to resort to charges of discrepancy. Imagine how long an employee would keep his job if he operated under the assumption that every time one of his colleagues said something that differed from a previous comment or from what another colleague stated, “someone was lying.” Such an employee would soon find himself unemployed. Generally speaking, people who make accusations without sufficient evidence to prove their case are quickly marginalized and distrusted.
Sadly, when it comes to the Bible, many people leave behind reason and fair-mindedness. Different accounts must be “contradictory.” Different wordings by different writers must mean someone was wrong. Though unproven and unprovable assertions in nearly every other area of life are quickly exposed as baseless allegations, when it comes to the Bible, differences are often thought to equal discrepancies.
The fact is, the different but truthful wordings in Scripture are exactly what a person should expect to find in a book composed of 66 smaller books written by approximately 40 different writers, who wrote to different people, at different times, and in different places. Furthermore, the differences in Scripture are parallel to the justifiable differences we expect from each other’s accounts in modern times.
  • Why must Luke be mistaken about the temptations of Jesus because he wrote them in a different order than Matthew (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13; see Lyons, 2004)? Can a person not give an honest description of something without everything being in chronological order? If a person never said the details are in the precise order in which they occurred, would he not have the freedom to arrange his story however he chose (e.g., climactically or thematically)?
  • Was it essential for the apostle John to mention every woman who came to the tomb of Jesus on the morning of His resurrection, or was he at liberty to mention as few as he wanted (John 20:1; cf. Matthew 28:1; Luke 24:1; cf. Butt, 2004)? If Mary Magdalene was at the tomb on that Sunday morning, and John recorded that she was there, without ever denying that others also were there, could his record of the events be truthful? Of course. Differencesexist among the gospel writers’ accounts, but no one can prove that they are dischordant. Just as a person might say, “I went to the park with Bill, Bob, and Bubba,” he might also truthfully say, “I went to the park with Bill and Betty.” These statements are not contradictory. One merely supplements the other. A person may only mention Bill and Betty in one setting (e.g., at worship where the church knows the married couple), while at another setting (e.g., at the office where only the men are known) he may truthfully just mention the men.
The fact is, if the apostles and prophets wrote independently of each other, and penned their accounts at different times, in different places, to different people, and for different reasons, differences should be expected. However, the differences are not demonstrated discrepancies. They are only “contradictions” in the minds of those (1) who reject reason, and/or (2) who refuse to “retain God in their knowledge” (Romans 1:28).


Aristotle, Metaphysics, trans. W.D. Ross, http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/metaphysics.4.iv.html.
Butt, Kyle (2004), “Addition Does Not a Contradiction Make,” Apologetics Press,http://www.apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=541.
Jevons, W. Stanley (1928), Elementary Lessons in Logic (London: Macmillan).
Lyons, Eric (2004), “In What Order Did Satan Tempt Jesus?” Apologetics Press,http://www.apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=746.

Was Jesus Married? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Was Jesus Married?

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The parade of alleged gospels that purport to alter the foundational doctrines of the Christian religion is endless. Most recently, a papyrus fragment written in Coptic that dates to the fourth century has created a stir. Among its eight badly faded lines are two phrases, “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife...’” and a second provocative clause that is believed to say, “she will be able to be my disciple” (Goodstein, 2012). No matter how tentative and flimsy the evidence, liberal scholars and atheists glory in any item that might discredit Christ and Christianity. Yet, even the lead expert on the fragment, historian at the Harvard Divinity School, Karen King, repeatedly cautioned that it “should not be taken as proof that Jesus, the historical person, was actually married. The text was probably written centuries after Jesus lived, and all other early, historically reliable Christian literature is silent on the question” (Goodstein, emp. added).
Many Christians and non-Christians fail to grasp the fact that the legitimacy and credibility of Christianity does not finally depend on archaeological discovery. If the Bible can be proven to possess the attributes of inspiration, demonstrating its divine origin, then no artifact will ever be discovered that will contradict that truth. If any manuscript or artifact appears to do so, it is being misinterpreted and misconstrued. Since we know that the Bible is the inspired Word of God (based on a careful and thorough analysis of its internal attributes—see the category “Inspiration of the Bible” at apologeticspress.org), then we know that Jesus never married just as the New Testament represents. [NOTE: That is not to say that the Catholic notion of celibacy finds biblical support—it does not. See Pinedo, 2008, pp. 60ff.]
Furthermore, the truth of the matter is that the textual basis of the New Testament was settled and fully authenticated many years ago. The longstanding discipline of Textual Criticism has yielded abundant evidence for the trustworthiness of the text of the New Testament. Over the last two centuries, the manuscript evidence has been thoroughly examined, resulting in complete exoneration for the integrity, genuineness, and accuracy of the Bible. Prejudiced university professors refrain from divulging to their students that the vast majority of textual variants involve minor matters that do not affect salvation nor alter any basic teaching of the New Testament. Even those variants that might be deemed doctrinally significant pertain to matters that are treated elsewhere in the Bible where the question of genuineness is unobscured. No feature of Christian doctrine is at stake. When all of the textual evidence is considered, the vast majority of discordant readings have been resolved (e.g., Metzger, 1978, p. 185). One is brought to the firm conviction that we have in our possession the Bible as God intended.
The world’s foremost textual critics have confirmed this conclusion. Sir Frederic Kenyon, longtime director and principal librarian at the British Museum, whose scholarship and expertise to make pronouncements on textual criticism was second to none, stated: “Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established” (Kenyon, 1940, p. 288). The late F.F. Bruce, longtime Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism at the University of Manchester, England, remarked: “The variant readings about which any doubt remains among textual critics of the New Testament affect no material question of historic fact or of Christian faith and practice” (1960, pp. 19-20). J.W. McGarvey, declared by the London Timesto be “the ripest Bible scholar on earth” (Brigance, 1870, p. 4), conjoined: “All the authority and value possessed by these books when they were first written belong to them still” (1956, p. 17). And the eminent textual critics Westcott and Hort put the entire matter into perspective when they said:
Since textual criticism has various readings for its subject, and the discrimination of genuine readings from corruptions for its aim, discussions on textual criticism almost inevitably obscure the simple fact that variations are but secondary incidents of a fundamentally single and identical text. In the New Testament in particular it is difficult to escape an exaggerated impression as to the proportion which the words subject to variation bear to the whole text, and also, in most cases, as to their intrinsic importance. It is not superfluous therefore to state explicitly that the great bulk of the words of the New Testament stand out above all discriminative processes of criticism, because they are free from variation, and need only to be transcribed (1964, p. 564, emp. added).
Noting that the experience of two centuries of investigation and discussion had been achieved, these scholars concluded: “[T]he words in our opinion still subject to doubt can hardly amount to more than a thousandth part of the whole of the New Testament” (p. 565, emp. added).
Think of it. Men who literally spent their lives poring over ancient Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, devoting their lives to meticulous, tedious analysis of the evidence, conversant with the original languages, without peer in their expertise and qualifications, have concluded that the Bible has been transmitted accurately. No scrap of papyrus written 200+ years after the fact can overturn the last two centuries of scholarly investigation and validation—let alone the Bible’s own inspired testimony to the contrary.


Brigance, L.L. (1870), “J.W. McGarvey,” in A Treatise on the Eldership by J.W. McGarvey (Murfreesboro, TN: DeHoff Publications, 1962 reprint).
Bruce, F.F. (1960), The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), revised edition.
Goodstein, Laurie (2012), “A Faded Piece of Papyrus Refers to Jesus’ Wife,” The New York Times, September 18, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/us/historian-says-piece-of-papyrus-refers-to-jesus-wife.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120919&moc.semityn.www.
Kenyon, Sir Frederic (1940), The Bible and Archaeology (New York, NY: Harper).
McGarvey, J.W. (1956 reprint), Evidences of Christianity (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate).
Metzger, Bruce M. (1978 reprint), The Text of the New Testament (New York, NY: Oxford University Press), second edition.
Pinedo, Moises (2008), What the Bible says about the Catholic Church (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), http://apologeticspress.org/pdfs/e-books_pdf/wtbsatcc.pdf.
Westcott, B.A. and F.J.A. Hort (1964 reprint), The New Testament in the Original Greek (New York, NY: MacMillan).

Assumption-Based Rejection of Design by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Assumption-Based Rejection of Design

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

In a recent New Scientist article titled “Evolution: A Guide for the Not-Yet Perplexed,” Michael Le Page expressed great confidence in The General Theory of Evolution, even going so far as to declare, “Evolution is as firmly established a scientific fact as the roundness of the Earth” (2008, 198[2652]:25). Le Page then proceeded to suggest various reasons why evolutionists reject Intelligent Design. After alleging the Earth is 4.5 billion years old (see DeYoung, 2005 andThompson, 2001 for refutations of this idea), Le Page wrote:
Suppose for a moment that life was designed rather than having evolved. In that case organisms that appear similar might have very different internal workings, just as anLCD screen has a quite different mechanism to a plasma screen. The explosion of genomic research, however, has revealed that all living creatures work in essentially the same way: they store and translate information using the same genetic code, with only a few minor variations in the most primitive organisms (p. 26, emp. added).
Le Page continued: “[I]f organisms had been designed for particular roles, they might be unable to adapt to changing conditions. Instead, countless experiments...show that organisms of all kinds evolve when their environment is altered, provided the changes are not too abrupt” (p. 26, emp. added).
Notice Le Page’s reasons for rejecting Intelligent Design: (1) if life was designed, “organisms...might have very different internal workings,” and (2) designed organisms “might be unable to adapt” to changing environments (p. 26, emp. added). As should be obvious to anyone reading this recent issue of New Scientist, Le Page’s arguments are pure speculation. Neither the similarities in the genetic make-up of living organisms nor the ability of living things to adapt to their environments are reasons to reject design and accept evolution.
Creationists have long recognized similarities among animals and humans. In fact, such similarities (even on a cellular level) should be expected among creatures that drink the same water, eat the same food, breathe the same air, live on the same terrain, etc. But, similarities are just that—similarities. Evolutionists interpret these similarities to mean we all share common ancestors, but they cannot prove it. Likewise, the ability of animals to adapt to their surroundings could just as easily be explained as the product of an omniscient Designer programming life long ago with the ability to adapt to its environment.
New Scientist’s assumption-based rejection of design is completely unsubstantiated. Neither homology nor organisms’ adaptation abilities are proof of The General Theory of Evolution.


DeYoung, Don (2005), Thousands...Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Le Page, Michael (2008), “Evolution: A Guide for the Not-Yet Perplexed,” New Scientist, 198[2652]:24-33, April 19.
Thompson, Bert (2001), “The Young Earth,” [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1991.

Calling Abortion “Good”—Really? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Calling Abortion “Good”—Really?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

What do Americans call it when a doctor uses a knife-like device and suction from a powerful hose and pump (“29 times more powerful than a household vacuum cleaner”) to chop and suck a human being out of the mother’s womb (“Abortion Methods,” 2010)? What is it called when a doctor uses plier-like devices to twist and tear a four-month-old unborn baby into pieces? (Usually this procedure requires crushing the baby’s skull and snapping the child’s spine in order to extract him/her.) How do Americans feel about a procedure where a doctor injects a strong salt solution through a mother’s abdomen, which acts as a corrosive and burns an unborn child inside and out, normally causing the child to suffer for an hour or more before dying (“Abortion Methods”)? What do Americans think about such actions?
Just a few miles from our offices at Apologetics Press, doctors perform such appalling procedures on living, unborn human beings on a weekly basis. According to the Guttmacher Institute, nearly 10,000 innocent unborn children were slaughtered in Alabama in 2011 (“State Facts About Abortion: Alabama,” 2015). Many of these abortions were performed at the Reproductive Health Services of Montgomery, which “has provided abortion services and other health care for women for more than 30 years” (2015). Consider some of the feedback from various patients that this abortion clinic highlights on its Web site:
  • Thank you for your hard work and for changing people’s lives with your compassion and dignity.”
  • “Keep up the good work. As my very religious friend told me, I was against abortion until my own fifteen year old daughter became pregnant.”
  • “To all who work to allow me to keep that right to choose: What you do is important, empowering and fine. I chose to have an abortion because it was theright decision for me at the time….”
  • I am saying prayers for your safety and success.”
  • “Keep up the good work….”
  • “Thank you for your brave work for justice and freedom for women.”
  • “Every woman I know who has exercised her right to abortion made that decision with thoughtfulness, tortured consideration and integrity. All the recent talk of heroes comes into focus for me when I think of people like you who’ve been on the front line for so long. Please know you are supported not only with good thoughts and thanks but with resources, will and active determination.”
  • I thank God I was given a choice in September 1973. Abortion was just legalized a few weeks earlier” (emp. added).
Compassion. Dignity. Integrity. Justice. Fine, heroic, and good work. Prayers for success. Even thankfulness to God! These are the thoughts that various ones in our community have toward those who shed the blood of the most innocent among us?! Even President Barack Obama, in support of Planned Parenthood, the organization that murders more unborn children than anyone else in the United States, has stated:
No matter how great the challenge, no matter how fierce the opposition, there’s one thing the past few years have shown—it’s that Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere. It’s not going anywhere today. It’s not going anywhere tomorrow. As long as we’ve got a fight to make sure women have access to quality, affordable health care, and as long as we’ve got to fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you’ve also got a president who’s going to be right there with you, fighting every step of the way. Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you. (“President Obama...,” 2013).
God bless you?! The Obama administration has proudly published the video from which these comments were made on the White House YouTube Channel.
What’s more, so committed are some elected officials to the murderous cause of Planned Parenthood that when evidence recently surfaced that the organization was not only killing hundreds of thousands of unborn children every year, but also attempting to sell their body parts, some Democrats in Congress petitioned the Department of Justice to investigate, not Planned Parenthood, but the whistleblowers (Ludden, 2015). And, apparently, the DOJ “agreed to look into…the group” (Mershon and Ehley, 2015). Did you catch that? There are some who are more up in arms about exactly how an undercover video was procured, rather than “whether Planned Parenthood illegally trafficked baby body parts” (“Obama DOJ…”). Why? It seems, at least in part, because some have vowed to fight to ensure that Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere today…or tomorrow.
These are sad and absurd times in which we live. Rather than “abhor what is evil” and “cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9), millions in the U.S. (including many so-called Christians) reject the Creator’s standard of right and wrong, choosing rather to do what is right in their own eyes (cf. Judges 21:25). As in Isaiah’s day, they “call evil good, and good evil” and put “darkness for light, and light for darkness” (5:20). Though God is the giver of life (Acts 17:25) and “hates…hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:16-17), many actually proceed as if they can pray to Him for the “success” of abominable abortion clinics and thank Him for the legality of willfully destroying innocent human life. God said to the degenerate city of Jerusalem in Isaiah’s day, “When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood” (Isaiah 1:15, emp. added). The once-“faithful city…full of justice” and “righteousness,” had become a city “full of…murderers” (1:21).
What is the message to America, to the world, to those who are wandering in darkness, and to those hypocrites who claim to be Christians, yet act nothing like the Christ? Repent (Luke 13:3,5; Acts 2:38). Stop calling evil good and good evil. Stop glorying in sin and shame—such “are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction” (Philippians 3:18-19). “Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:16-17). Stop provoking Almighty God to anger and submit to His Son and His Will. He can (and will!) save a sinner—but not before the sinner comes to grips with the reality that God hates sin and can have no fellowship with it (Isaiah 59:1-2; 1 John 1:5-6).
“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword;” for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.


“Abortion Methods” (2010), http://www.lifesitenews.com/abortiontypes/.
Ludden, Jennifer (2015), “Sting Videos Part of Longtime Campaign Against Planned Parenthood,” NPR, July 22, http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/07/22/425314909/sting-videos-part-of-longtime-campaign-against-planned-parenthood.
Mershon, Erin and Brianna Ehley (2015), “IPAB’s on the Horizon—House Republicans Vow to Subpoena Planned Parenthood Official—Casey Takes on Foster Children’s Health Insurance,” Politico, July 23, http://www.politico.com/politicopulse/0715/politicopulse19266.html.
“Obama DOJ Plans to Investigate…The Group That Busted Planned Parenthood” (2015), The Federalist, July 23, http://thefederalist.com/2015/07/23/doj-investigate-planned-parenthood-video/.
“President Obama Speaks at the Planned Parenthood Gala” (2013), The White House YouTube Channel, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laYQ2DDFmCg, April 26.
Reproductive Health Services (2015), http://www.rhs4choice.com/index.html.
“State Facts About Abortion: Alabama” (2015), Guttmacher Institute, https://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/sfaa/alabama.html.

To Judge, or Not to Judge? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


To Judge, or Not to Judge?
by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

One of the most oft’-quoted verses in the Bible is Matthew 7:1—“Judge not, that you be not judged.” Those engaged in immoral behavior frequently quote this verse when attempting to defend their sinful lifestyle. Certain religionists quote it when being challenged to prove that their questionable practices are backed by biblical authority. A belligerent teenager might be heard reciting this phrase to his parents when they inquire about his occasional association with “the wrong crowd.” Skeptics even quote Matthew 7:1 in an attempt to show an inconsistency in Jesus’ teachings. From church pews to barstools, from the “Bible belt” to Hollywood, Matthew 7:1 is ripped from its context and bellowed as some kind of scare tactic: “Do you dare judge me? Jesus said, ‘Judge not, that you be not judged.’ ” Allegedly, Jesus meant that we cannot pass judgment on anyone at anytime.
Sadly, Matthew 7:1 is not only among the most frequently quoted verses in the Bible, but also is one of the most abused verses in all of Scripture. Its exploitation becomes clear when the entire context of Matthew 7 is studied more carefully. Throughout Matthew chapters 5-7 (often referred to as the Sermon on the Mount), Jesus publicly criticized the Jewish scribes and Pharisees for their self-righteousness and abuse of the Old Testament. Near the beginning of this sermon, Jesus stated: “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). The unrighteousness of the scribes and Pharisees was at the heart of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus wanted His audience to understand that self-righteousness would not be permitted in the kingdom of heaven; rather, it would lead to “condemnation” in hell (5:20; cf. 23:14,33). A follower of God must be “poor in spirit” (5:3), not filled with pride. He must love his enemies, not hate them (5:44). He is to do good deeds, but only to please God, not men (6:1-4). The scribes and Pharisees were guilty of wearing “righteousness” on their sleeves, rather than in their hearts (6:1-8; cf. 23:1-36). It was in the midst of such strong public rebuke that Christ proclaimed:
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me remove the speck from your eye”; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye (Matthew 7:1-5).
In Matthew 6:1-4, Jesus instructed us not to do charitable deeds…“as the hypocrites do” (to be seen of men). In 6:5-8, Jesus told us not to pray…“like the hypocrites” (to be heard of men). In 6:16-18, Jesus taught us not to fast…“like the hypocrites” (to be seen of men). Likewise, in Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus was teaching us that judging another is wrong…when that judgment is hypocritical.
But, what if we are doing charitable deeds to be seen of God? Then by all means, “do good to all men” (Galatians 6:10)! What if our prayers are led from a pure heart and with righteous intentions? Should we pray? Most certainly (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:17). Can we fast today, if the purpose of our fasting is to be seen of God and not men? Yes. But what about passing judgment? In Matthew 7:1-5, did Jesus condemn all judging, or, similar to the above examples, did He condemn only a certain kind of judging? Matthew 7:5 provides the answer. After condemning unrighteous judgments (7:1-4), Jesus instructed a person to “first remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” He was saying, in essence, “Get your life right first. Then, in love, address your brother’s problem.” This is consistent with what Paul wrote to the church at Philippi: “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (2:4). God never intended for Christians to be recluses who never interacted with those around them. Rather, He gave us the responsibility of helping others by lovingly correcting them when they sin. In Matthew 7, Jesus was not suggesting that a person can never judge. He was saying, when you judge, judge righteously (as when we pray, fast, and do good deeds—do it without hypocrisy—John 7:24). Incidentally, Jesus already had judged the Pharisees. Thus, He obviously was not teaching that we should never judge anyone.
Further proof that Jesus did not condemn all judging can be found throughout the rest of chapter 7. In fact, in the very next verse after His statements about judging, Jesus implicitly commanded that His followers make a judgment. He said: “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces” (7:6). Disciples of Christ must judge as to who are “dogs” and who are “hogs.” Otherwise, how can we know when not to give that which is holy to “dogs”? Or how can we know when not to cast our pearls before “swine”? Jesus said we must judge between those who are “worthy,” and those who are like dogs and pigs (cf. Matthew 10:12-15; Acts 13:42-46). A few verses later, Jesus again implied that His disciples must make a judgment.
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them (Matthew 7:15-20).
Question: How can we “watch out” for false prophets if we cannot make judgments as to who the false prophets are? According to Jesus, determining the identity of false teachers involves inspecting “their fruits” and making judgments—righteous judgments.
What does the rest of Scripture have to say to those who regard all judging as being wrong?
  • In his letter to the churches of Galatia, Paul commanded those “who are spiritual” to restore those who have been “overtaken in any trespass…in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (6:1). Certainly, determining who is spiritual and who has sinned involves making judgments.
  • While addressing an issue in the church at Corinth where a man had “his father’s wife” (1 Corinthians 5:1), Paul wrote through inspiration:
    In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus…. I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person…. Therefore, put away from yourselves the evil person (1 Corinthians 5:4-5,11,13b).
    Paul commanded the church at Corinth to purge a fornicator from its midst. This man’s sin was even to be addressed in a public manner. To follow Paul’s command, the church had to make a judgment. Paul also commanded the congregation to “put away” others who were living in a state of sin. When we make such judgments today, they are to be righteousjudgments that are based on facts and carried out in love. Such judging should be performed in a merciful spirit (Luke 6:36-37), and for the purpose of saving souls (“that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus”—1 Corinthians 5:5). Judgments are to be made from good (righteous) intentions. But judgments nevertheless must be made.
  • Paul instructed the church at Ephesus to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (5:11). And to the Christians in Rome he wrote: “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them” (16:17). Were churches going to have to make important judgments to comply with Paul’s commands? Yes.
  • Similarly, the apostle John indicated that “whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds” (2 John 9-11, emp. added). To determine whether or not we are going to allow someone into our homes, necessitates a judgment on our part.
  • Finally, if all judgments concerning spiritual matters are wrong, then why would Jesus have commanded His disciples to go and teach the lost (Matthew 28:19-20; cf. Acts 8:4)? Before one ever teaches the Gospel to someone who is not a Christian, a judgment must be made. Is this person lost in sin, or saved “in Christ”? If we are to teach the lost today, then it is necessary to determine who is lost and who is not.
If we never can “judge people” in any sense, as many today suggest (through the misuse of Matthew 7:1), then the above commands never could be obeyed. But, they must be obeyed! Thus, (righteous) judgments must be made.
The popular and politically correct idea that “all judging is wrong” is anti-biblical. Those who teach that Jesus was condemning all judging in Matthew 7:1 are guilty of ignoring the context of the passage, as well as the numerous verses throughout the rest of the Bible which teach that judging the sinful lifestyles of others is necessary. One key ingredient that we need to incorporate in every judgment is “righteousness.” Jesus commanded that His disciples first get their own lives right with God; then they can “see clearly” to be of help to others who are overcome in their faults (Matthew 7:5). As Jesus told the Jews in the temple on one occasion: “Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24).

When Were the Sun, Moon, and Stars Created? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


When Were the Sun, Moon, and Stars Created?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

At first glance, this seems like an easy question. Just as children have been singing for generations, it was on day four when God made “the Sun, Moon, and stars galore.” Some, however, have alleged that the “sun, moon and stars were created ‘in the beginning’ (Gen. 1:1)” (Thurman, 2006, p. 3), rather than on day four of Creation. Presumably,
on the fourth day, God “set” the sun, moon and stars in the heavens to govern the days, months, seasons and years (verse 17). When God “set” the lights in the heavens, it was much like when we “set” a clock. And that really is what God did—He “set” His clock on the 4th day. But these (the sun, moon, stars) were all created “in the beginning” (Gen. 1:1) (Thurman, 2006, p. 3, emp. added).
The problem with this line of argumentation is that it contradicts what the Bible says.
Certainly, “[i]n the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). But, it was not until later that God created the Sun, Moon, and stars. Genesis 1:14-19 reads:
Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day (Genesis 1:14-19, emp. added).
God not only “set” (Hebrew nathan) the Sun, Moon, and stars in their precise locations in the heavens on the fourth day of Creation, but it was on this day when God literally “made” (Hebrew asah) these heavenly bodies. Similar to how God initially made the land and seas void of animal life (which later was created on days five and six of Creation), the “heavens” were made “in the beginning,” but the hosts of heaven (which now inhabit them) were created “in the firmament of the heavens” on day four (Genesis 1:14).
Consider also how God spoke light into existence on day one of Creation, saying, “Let there be light” (1:3, emp. added). On the fourth day God declared, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens...and it was so” (1:14-15, emp. added). Gary Workman commented on this similarity, saying:
“Let there be lights” (v. 14) is identical in grammatical construction with other statements of “let there be...” in the chapter. Therefore the command can only mean that God spoke the luminaries into existence on the fourth day just as he had created the initial light on day one and the firmament on day two (1989, p. 3).
On day one God made intrinsic light; on day four He made the generators of light. Keep in mind that “the Father of lights” (James 1:17), Who is “light” (1 John 1:5), could create light easily without first having to create the Sun, Moon, and stars. Just as God could produce a fruit-bearing tree on day three without a seed, He could produce light supernaturally on day one without the “usual” light bearers (which subsequently were created on day four). Again, there is no indication in Scripture that the generators of light already were made before day four.
Suppose, however, that the creation of the heavens “in the beginning” had included the creation of the Sun, Moon, and stars (which Genesis 1:14-19 says were made on day four). One still would not be justified in trying to appease the evolutionary timeline by claiming that the “beginning” took place billions of years before the six days of Creation. Why? Because God said, “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day” (Exodus 20:11, emp. added). Both the heavens and all that is in the heavens were created during the six-day creation.
In truth, on day one God created “the heavens,” and on day four He made the Sun, Moon, and stars. And all things were made within the six days of Creation. No “rightly divided” (2 Timothy 2:15) Bible passage will lead a person to any other conclusion.


Thurman, Clem (2006), “How Was Light Before the Sun?” Gospel Minutes, September 8.
Workman, Gary (1989), “Questions from Genesis One,” The Restorer, 9[5/6]:3-5, May/June.